Detectives investigate reports of shots fired prior to deadly pursuit

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 21 at 9:13 AM

Incidents possibly linked to fatal pursuit

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- News 4 is learning more about what happened in the hours before two men and a woman died in a violent car crash during a police chase. 

Police believe someone in the car sprayed dozens of bullets throughout a south St. Louis neighborhood before running from officers.

Police spent the day scouring the Fox Park neighborhood for shell casings, hoping to learn more about what led up to the deadly crash Thursday morning. They recovered several bullet shells.  One bullet flew right through the front window of a home on Minnesota as innocent people slept inside.

"My mom woke me up.  I heard the last shot," Quinn Crumer said.  "They were shooting real fast, but we're good.  Nobody got hit."
 
Quinn Crumer's mom called 911 when a stray bullet sailed through their home.  She was one of nearly two dozen callers who reported hearing gunfire on Minnesota Wednesday night.  Police say the first barrage of bullets was reported at 11 p.m. in the 2300 block of Minnesota Wednesday night.  Two hours later, 911 lit up with more than a dozen calls for reports of shots fired in the 2500 block of Minnesota.
 
"I was asleep and I woke up from it," Stevie Barker said.  "I was just kind of shocked that it happened right by my house."
 
Officers responded to the area and found the shooting suspects in a dark-colored Nissan Maxima. The suspects drove off at a high rate of speed after seeing the officers. Police pursued them until the suspect's car crashed on in the 800 block of South Grand, killing three people inside and critically injuring another.
 
Police recovered a gun they believe the suspects ditched during the pursuit. "Evidence technicians seized that weapon, and we'll test that to see if it comes back to any of the earlier incidents that occurred," Captain Michael Sack, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said.
 
Police are trying to figure out if nearby shootings earlier Wednesday evening and Thursday morning are connected.
 
Police responded to St. Louis University Hospital Wednesday evening after a man showed up with a gunshot wound to his calf. The shooting happened in the 1400 block of South Grand around 7:30 p.m.
 
About two hours later, a man ran after hearing gunshots in the 2300 block of Indiana, but was shot in the heel.  A white Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Prix was reported as the suspect car in that shooting, but neighbors believe two groups of people may have been firing at one another.
 
"There were two different guns that were going off," Crumer said.  "You see what happens when they do that, and now they're suffering, the families are suffering a loss over something stupid."
 
A fourth suspect from the car is still in critical condition.  Police are waiting to interview him for more clues about what happened before the horrific crash that killed Lamont Cross, 22, Gregory Franklin, 22, and Dasha Rhodes, 20.

 

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